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Money Pouring in to Cerritos Council Race

Incumbent Frank Yokoyama is running but current Mayor Grace Hu is not.


February 3, 2022

By Brian Hews

Cerritos is holding its City Council election in April of this year with two seats open, one is incumbent Frank Yokoyama’s, the other is Mayor Grace Hu’s, who is not running; and the campaign finance money, unlike any other City Council race in the county, is once again flowing heavily.

People often question why candidates spend tens, even hundreds of thousands like Joseph Cho once did, to win a City Council seat that pays very little.

Candidates running for election must periodically file campaign donation reports known as 460’s,  listing all their donations and expenses incurred for the period.

One of the reporting deadlines during the year is Dec 31, 2022, with reports filed by January; each Cerritos candidate turned in their report in a timely manner.

Cerritos City Council Candidate and ABCUSD Trustee Ernie Nishi was the leader at nearly $43,000, loaning the campaign $24,000, which equates to $19,000 in outside donations. Fifty-six different people donated to Nishi’s campaign for an average of $340 per person, four people gave $1,000; taking out those amounts would take the average donation down to $290.

Candidate Jennifer Hong took in nearly $24,000, none of that total was personal loans. Thirty-five people donated to her campaign for an average of $685. Peggy Huang from Rolling Hills and Vanai Osothprorop from Cerritos each gave $4,900, taking those amounts would drag the average donation down to $425.

Incumbent Frank Yokoyama was next at nearly $16,000, none of that total was personal loans. Forty-six different people donated to Yokoyama’s campaign for an average of $350 per person. Five people gave $9,400, taking the average down to $160 per person.

In a surprise, candidate Lynda Johnson garnered only $10,500, with a personal loan of $750. Thirty-nine individuals donated, for an average of $250, no donations were over $500.

On the expense side, Nishi spent $8,000 for the period, for a total cash on hand of $35,000; Hong spent  nearly $15,000 for a total cash on hand of $9,000; Yokoyama spent $1,600 for a total cash on hand of $14,400; and Johnson spent nearly $5,000 for a total cash on hand of $5,500.

According the Fair Political Practices Commission’s website, the next deadline to file is March 3 for the donation period covering Jan. 1 to Feb. 26, 2022.

March 31 is the next and last deadline covering the period Feb. 27 to Mar. 26, 2022, a full 23 days before the April 12 election.

In the last election in 2020, 44% of registered Cerritos residents cast their votes by mail

These reporting deadlines will not allow 56% of Cerritos voters to know crucial individual donations to candidates garnered after March 26, 2022…… until June 30, 2022.



  • Tom says:

    Don’t know much about Ernie, but his last name is Nishii, not Nishi. He came to my door and seemed nice, for what that’s worth.